Project name: Pawame Solar
Type: Social enterprise
Refugee investment category: R3
SDGs addressed: 7, 8, 9, 10
Headquarters regions: UAE; Nairobi, Kenya
Sector: Green energy
Summary: Pawame Solar is a social enterprise providing off-grid solar home systems to refugees in Kakuma who are already paying for dirty and expensive kerosene/diesel. The solar home systems work on an 18 month rent to own model with low daily payments that are cheaper than traditional kerosene. With such systems refugees get cheaper light, electrification, and increased connectivity at an affordable rate. They are currently seeking debt financing to expand their operations.
Potential refugee impact: Pawame employs refugees as sales agents with a target of 300 refugee households electrified via solar over the next few months and can expand within Kakuma and also within Dadaab if sufficient funding is available. Working in partnership with REFUNITE, a non profit focused on reuniting refugees with their families, Pawame is developing a Bluetooth enabled mesh communication network, which will allow free offline communication and information sharing within refugee camps.
Investment thesis: Pawame Solar is working to provide energy access to communities throughout sub-Saharan Africa while maintaining a commitment for those in greatest need including refugees and internally displaced persons. Currently there are over 150 million households in sub-Saharan Africa without access to electrical grids and Pawame offers these communities the ability to bypass traditional power lines with off-the-grid solar. Utilizing a rent-to-own model, customers are able to affordably purchase a power source which is cleaner, cheaper, safer, and more reliable than kerosene fuel or other lighting alternatives. Pawame has created a digital payments system through their PAYGO platform for customers to pay for their product easily and securely.
Structure: Pawame Solar is a social enterprise based in the UAE focused on delivering new energy technology to sub-Saharan Africa. Led by a diverse team with experience in energy, engineering, and manufacturing, Pawame has designed a product that meets the needs of millions of underserved customers throughout the continent.